Days 3 and 4

Wednesday morning started with rear brake job using the pads we had picked up in Sioux City, IA.

Kyle Jr. attempted to change the rear pads on his dads RT.  It should be a 25 minute job but we couldn’t get the caliper pistons to compress.  We needed a big pair of channel locks that we didn’t have.

Luckily there was a napa tow blocks down the road and I headed down to buy a set.  As you’d expect in a small town they were more than happy to loan us a set.  No questions asked, nothing left for a deposit, etc.

With the brakes completed we headed out for breakfast.  It’s usually good to ask a local where to eat.  We found a nice breakfast a couple miles down the road.

After breakfast I chatted with an elderly lady in the parking lot who had lots of questions about our bikes and our trip.  She was in her 80’s and gave us a few things to see if we had time.

We mounted up to head out, but my bike wouldn’t start.  The battery was deader than dead.  I have no idea how that happened.  I assume I left the key on and lights on while Kyle did the brake job.  Then a couple starts to leave, get gas, etc, just killed it.

Push starting a 600lb bike that’s loaded with 80+ lbs of crap isn’t really an option.   We had the brilliant idea to jump the bikes between our power outlets.   That didn’t work out, so we headed to Nappa to get a set of jumper cables.   They loaned us a booster box and we were able to get it running.  Now worried that I had a bad battery we picked up a set of jumper cables anyway.  The last thing we need is for me to kill the battery again somewhere in the middle of nowhere, 200 miles from anything useful.

One more thing to pack.

We finally got on our way to the Bad Lands national park on our way to our Hotel reservations in Custer, SD.

All I can say is ‘Wow’…

The photos I took won’t do it justice, we’re going to have to come back with the kids.   The scenery out here is amazing…  I mean absolutely beautiful. 

Photos are located here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/mdisher/2008Trip

Through the Bad Lands on to Custer where our hotel is for the night.

Think of Custer as Gatlinburg just south of Mount Rushmore only prettier.

On our way in, this is where things got interesting…  Our YouTube Moment if you will.

Kyle Sr. hit a big rock and broke the front end of his bike.  Wrecked his forks.  Of course out here those parts just aren’t available.   So we got a tow into Custer, checked into a hotel and went to dinner. It was already late and we figured we’d discuss what to do at dinner.

The Best Western was very clean and up-to date.  We had a great dinner at the Captains Table, the restaurant just outside of the hotel.

The following morning we spent a number of futile hours trying to locate a rental truck or van to take Kyle’s bike to the dealer in Sturgis.  We figured we’d drop it off there and he could shadow us in a rental car and meet us at different places.  The other option was a one way rental for him to head home to Pensecolla Florida.  Like I said that effort was futile.  There were no vans or trucks anywhere, and nothing one-way.

We did find one truck that was going to run $1200 just for the rental.  That didn’t include fuel, the per mile charge, hotels meals, etc. that he’d have to pay to get home.

We found him a relatively cheap flight and we figured we’d leave the bike here and make arrangements to ship it or come back and get it later.

We boxed up some of his stuff and took him to the Drug store which is also the local UPS shipping point here in Custer.

When I pulled up there was a car with a motorcycle trailer with one bike on it.  It had Florida plates.  I thought "I bet this guy will take it home for some cash, I know I’d do that for someone."   As fate would have it, he was heading back to Florida in a round about way and after some negotiation we reached an accord and  he agreed to haul it back with him for $600.

We bought some tie downs, and loaded up the broken Beemer.

We grabbed some lunch, took Kyle back to the room, and the rest of headed out for a short ride to Mt. Rushmore and around the Black Hills.  Again, amazing scenery.  More of those photos later.

The plan this morning was to get up and get Kyle Sr. to the airport for his 6 am flight.  That meant kickstands up at 4am to get him there by 5am.

The sky’s opened up around 2am.  The thought of riding 60 miles in a killer thunderstorm over loaded because Dad and I would have to carry their gear so they could ride two up wasn’t very appealing.

So using the power of Google 411 I found a cab at the 11th hour to come get Kyle and get him to the airport. 

Our plan today is to hit the rally in Gillette then off to Buffalo on our way to Yellowstone.

It looks like the rain isn’t going to stop anytime soon, so I’m going back to bed for a couple hours.

 

More later.

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